nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2015‒06‒13
thirteen papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. The Persistence of Local Joblessness By Michael Amior; Alan Manning
  2. Ready for take-off? The economic effects of regional airport expansion By Breidenbach, Philipp
  3. Geographical Vibrancy and Firm Performance By Ovtchinnikov , Alexei; Cooper , Michael
  4. Cross-border commuting and consuming: An empirical investigation By Mathä, Thomas Y.; Porpiglia, Alessandro; Ziegelmeyer, Michael
  5. Cross-specialization and structural holes: The case of the Dutch Topsectors By Matthijs J. Janssen
  6. Does regional training supply determine employees' training participation? By Görlitz, Katja; Rzepka, Sylvi
  7. Space Technology and GIS Applications in ADB Projects By Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  8. Firms? locational choice and infrastructure development in Rwanda By Iimi,Atsushi; Humphrey,Richard Martin; Melibaeva,Sevara
  9. Is the German retail gas market competitive? A spatial-temporal analysis using quantile regression By Kihm, Alex; Ritter, Nolan; Vance, Colin
  10. Firm productivity and infrastructure costs in east Africa By Iimi,Atsushi; Humphrey,Richard Martin; Melibaeva,Sevara
  11. Space-time modeling of electricity spot prices By Girum D. Abate; Niels Haldrup
  12. "Phantom of the opera" or "sex and the city"? Historical amenities as sources of exogenous variation By Bauer, Thomas K.; Breidenbach, Philipp; Schmidt, Christoph M.
  13. La 'Smart Specialization Strategy' delle regioni italiane e le politiche nazionali per la ricerca e l'innovazione By Donato Iacobucci; Enrico Guzzini

  1. By: Michael Amior; Alan Manning
    Abstract: Local differences in US employment-population ratios and unemployment rates have persisted over many decades. Using decennial census data from 1950-2010, we investigate the reasons for this. The persistence cannot be explained by permanent differences in amenities, local demographic composition or the propensity of women to work. Population does respond strongly to differences in economic fortunes, although these movements are not large enough to eliminate shocks within a decade. Over the longer run, persistence in local joblessness is largely explained by serial correlation in the demand shocks themselves.
    Keywords: Local labor markets, unemployment, inactivity, internal migration, commuting
    JEL: J61 J64 R23
    Date: 2015–06
  2. By: Breidenbach, Philipp
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether the expansion of regional airports in Germany caused positive spillover effects on the surrounding economies, exploiting the deregulation of the European aviation market as a quasi-experiment. Such potential spillovers are often used as an argument for the substantial annual subsidies to airports. Previous evaluations often suffer from the problem of reverse causality, since investment decisions are based on the economic conditions of the region. By contrast, the aviation deregulation under the Single European Market-initiative provides an exogenous incentive for investing in the expansion of existing regional airports. A difference-in-differences approach is used to estimate the causal effects of this expansion on regional growth. The results are sobering, though, as there is no evidence for any positive spillover effects.
    Abstract: In den vergangenen Jahrzehnten wurden Millionenbeträge in den Ausbau deutscher Regionalflughäfen investiert, um modernen Ansprüchen zu genügen und vom rasanten Wachstum des Luftverkehrsmarktes zu profitieren. Im Gegensatz zu diesen großen Erwartungen sind heute fast alle Regionalflughäfen von massiven Subventionen abhängig und die Entscheidung der Europäischen Kommission, ebensolche Subventionen ab dem Jahr 2024 zu verbieten, stellt eine existenzielle Bedrohung einiger Flughäfen dar. Befürworter sehen den engen Fokus auf die direkten Verluste der Flughäfen als ungeeignet und führen positive Spillover-Effekte der Flughäfen an, die das Wachstum umliegender Regionen unterstützen. Empirische Analysen dazu vernachlässigen allerdings häufig die Endogenitätsprobleme, die vor allem darauf beruhen, dass Regionalflughäfen auch als Folge prosperierender regionalwirtschaftlicher Entwicklungen entstehen. Dieses Papier nutzt die Deregulierung des europäischen Luftfahrtmarktes als exogenen Anreiz für Investitionen und zeigt anhand eines Differenz-in-Differenzen Ansatzes, dass der massive Ausbau der Regionalflughäfen kein wirtschaftliches Wachstum in umliegenden Regionen generiert hat. Regionalflughäfen werden daher eher als Folge und nicht als Ursache regionaler Entwicklungen gesehen.
    Keywords: infrastructure investment,regional growth,airport effects
    JEL: R51 R42 H54
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Ovtchinnikov , Alexei; Cooper , Michael
    Abstract: Recent work has shown that where a firm is located matters for such things as dividend and investment policy, governance, liquidity, equity and debt issuance, and risk exposure. These effects seem to exist, in part, because of managements' desire to minimize agency problems related to monitoring and relationship building that vary as a function of firm distance from agents. The authors expand the current location literature by showing that firm location characteristics, not just distance per se, are important. They develop a geographical-based vibrancy index using important location characteristics from the Urban Economics literature that measure local economic health. We show that the vibrancy index not only predicts firm policy variables such as investment and leverage, but also predicts firm performance and firm value. The local effects are strong, adding up to a 50% increase in explanatory power above industry effects. Our results indicate that the local vibrancy of a firm headquarters is an important determinant of firm policies and profitability.
    Keywords: geography; firm location; vibrancy; firm characteristics; firm performance
    JEL: G10 G11 G23
    Date: 2015–03–16
  4. By: Mathä, Thomas Y.; Porpiglia, Alessandro; Ziegelmeyer, Michael (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: This paper analyses empirically how cross-border consumption varies across product and services categories and across household characteristics. It focuses on the part of crossborder sales that arise due to work-related cross-border crossings; it analyses the crossborder consumption behaviour of cross-border commuter households residing in Belgium, France and Germany and working in Luxembourg. In total, it is estimated that these households spend €925 million per annum in Luxembourg, reflecting about 17% of their gross annual income from Luxembourg and contributing about 10% to total household final consumption expenditure in Luxembourg. Cross-border consumption expenditure is shown to depend on individual and household characteristics, such as total household income, the number of cross-border commuters in the household, distance between home and work, as well as price level (index) differences between Luxembourg and its neighbouring countries. Cross-border commuters take advantage of existing arbitrage opportunities.
    JEL: F15 R12 R23 J61
    Date: 2014–04–14
  5. By: Matthijs J. Janssen
    Abstract: In this paper we discuss how an economies’ established stronghold industries can form a basis for sustaining competiveness. As changing market circumstances demand industries to stay adaptive, their knowledge bases need to be enriched with knowledge that is uncommon to the industry itself, yet sufficiently familiar for being properly absorbed. Inspired by insights from evolutionary economic geography, we argue why rather than (only) supporting related variety, policy makers should ‘cross-specialize’ by creating linkages between strong but disparate industries. We distinguish three forms of cross-specialization, each of them describing how new economic activities can be achieved by converging the knowledge bases of disparate industries. One of the cross-specialization forms pertains to supporting industries at the interface of such unrelated industries. As these cross-over industries consist of parties able to communicate with both of the unrelated specializations, they are an obvious target for policy interventions aimed at closing structural holes in the industry space. Looking at the case of the Dutch Topsectors, we describe how cross-over industries can be identified. We use skill-relatedness and employment data to construct the Dutch industry space, and apply network analytics for calculating cross-over centrality measures. We conclude by discussing research and policy implications.
    Date: 2015–06
  6. By: Görlitz, Katja; Rzepka, Sylvi
    Abstract: Using data from the National Educational Panel Study of 2009/2010, this paper investigates the relationship between regional training supply and employees' training participation. Controlling for other regional factors such as the local unemployment rate, the educational level, the population density and the regional industry composition, the results indicate that training participation is significantly higher in regions with many firms in the training supply market. The predictive power of the other regional factors is rather minor.
    Abstract: Dieser Artikel untersucht den Zusammenhang zwischen der Weiterbildungsbeteiligung von Arbeitnehmern und dem regionalem Weiterbildungsangebot (gemessen als Zahl der Weiterbildungsanbieter pro km2 in der Region). Die Analyse basiert auf den Mikrodaten der Erwachsenen Kohorte des Nationalen Bildungspanels 2009/10. Es wird ein lineares Wahrscheinlichkeitsmodell geschätzt, welches neben individuellen und firmenspezifischen ebenso für weitere regionale Faktoren (wie die Arbeitslosenquote, die Qualifikationsstruktur der Arbeitnehmer, die Bevölkerungsdichte und die industrielle Struktur) kontrolliert. Im Ergebnis zeigt sich ein positiver, statistisch signifikanter Zusammenhang zwischen der Anzahl der Weiterbildungsanbieter im lokalen Arbeitsmarkt und der Weiterbildungsbeteiligung von Arbeitnehmern. Die übrigen regionalen Faktoren erklären nur zu einem geringeren Maße die individuelle Weiterbildungswahrscheinlichkeit.
    Keywords: training,local labor markets
    JEL: J24 R12
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Regional and Sustainable Development Department, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Regional and Sustainable Development Department, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    Abstract: Space technology and geographic information systems (GIS) have now become valuable tools in helping development organizations achieve their missions. They can be applied to various development sectors including agriculture, rural development, and food security; education; energy; environment; climate change; health; pubic management and governance (especially disaster risk management); transport; urban development; and water management. This report provides an overview of the space technology and GIS applications in ADB to date by introducing some of the past and ongoing ADB projects that have applied space technology and/or GIS. It includes information about how the technologies were applied, the service providers, and the cost for the application, so that practitioners including staff of development organizations and government staff in DMCs can easily apply similar technologies to their projects and/or daily operations.
    Keywords: Space Technology, GIS, Geographic Information Systems, Applications, Asian Development Bank
    Date: 2014–11
  8. By: Iimi,Atsushi; Humphrey,Richard Martin; Melibaeva,Sevara
    Abstract: Agglomeration economies are among the most important factors to increase firm productivity. However, there is little evidence supportive of this in Africa. By applying the conditional and nested logit models, this paper examines the relationship between firm locations and infrastructure accessibility in Rwanda. It is found that agglomeration economies matter to even one of the smallest countries in Africa. It is also found that infrastructure availability has an important role in affecting the firm location decision. Electricity access and transport connectivity to the domestic and international markets are found to be important to attract new investment. In addition, the quality of local labor supplied, measured by educational attainment, is found as an important determinant of firm location, while the effect of labor costs remains inconclusive.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,E-Business,Economic Theory&Research,Private Participation in Infrastructure,Microfinance
    Date: 2015–05–29
  9. By: Kihm, Alex; Ritter, Nolan; Vance, Colin
    Abstract: We explore whether non-competitive pricing prevails in Germany's retail gasoline market by examining the influence of the crude oil price on the retail gasoline price, focusing specifically on how this influence varies according to the brand and to the degree of competition in the vicinity of the station. Our analysis identifies several factors other than cost - including the absence of nearby competitors and regional market concentration - that play a significant role in mediating the influence of the oil price on the retail gas price, suggesting price setting power among stations.
    Keywords: panel data,quantile regression,spatial competition,gasoline market
    JEL: C33 Q41 R41
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Iimi,Atsushi; Humphrey,Richard Martin; Melibaeva,Sevara
    Abstract: Infrastructure is an important driving force for economic growth. It reduces trade and transaction costs and stimulates the productivity of the economy. Africa has been lagging behind in the global manufacturing market. Among others, infrastructure is an important constraint in many African countries. Using firm-level data for East Africa, the paper reexamines the relationship between firm performance and infrastructure. It is shown that labor costs are by far the most important to stimulate firm production. Among the infrastructure sectors, electricity costs have the highest output elasticity, followed by transport costs. In addition, the paper shows that the quality of infrastructure is important to increase firm production. In particular, quality transport infrastructure seems to be essential. The paper also finds that agglomeration economies can reduce firm costs. The agglomeration elasticity is estimated at 0.03?0.04.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,E-Business,Energy Production and Transportation,Economic Theory&Research,Infrastructure Economics
    Date: 2015–05–29
  11. By: Girum D. Abate (Aarhus University and CREATES); Niels Haldrup (Aarhus University and CREATES)
    Abstract: In this paper we derive a space-time model for electricity spot prices. A general spatial Durbin model that incorporates the temporal as well as spatial lags of spot prices is presented. Joint modeling of space-time effects is necessarily important when prices and loads are determined in a network of power exchange areas. We use data from the Nord Pool electricity power exchange area bidding markets. Different spatial weight matrices are considered to capture the structure of the spatial dependence process across different bidding markets and statistical tests show significant spatial dependence in the spot price dynamics. Estimation of the spatial Durbin model show that the spatial lag variable is as important as the temporal lag variable in describing the spot price dynamics. We use the partial derivatives impact approach to decompose the price impacts into direct and indirect effects and we show that price effects transmit to neighboring markets and decline with distance. In order to examine the evolution of the spatial correlation over time, a time varying parameters spot price spatial Durbin model is estimated using recursive estimation. It is found that the spatial correlation within the Nord Pool grid has been increasing over time which we interpret as evidence for an increasing degree of market integration.
    Keywords: Autoregressive, Spatial-Time series, Spatial dependence
    JEL: C32 C33
    Date: 2015–05–07
  12. By: Bauer, Thomas K.; Breidenbach, Philipp; Schmidt, Christoph M.
    Abstract: Using the location of baroque opera houses as a natural experiment, Falck et al. (2011) claim to document a positive causal effect of the supply of cultural goods on today's regional distribution of talents. This paper raises serious doubts on the validity of the identification strategy underlying these estimates, though. While we are able to replicate the original results, we proceed to show that the same empirical strategy also assigns positive causal effects to the location of historical brothels and breweries. These estimated effects are similar in size and signifi cance to those of historical opera houses. We document that all these estimates reflect the importance of institutions for long-run economic growth, and that the effect of historical amenities on the contemporary local share of high skilled workers disappears upon controlling for regions' historical importance.
    Abstract: Anhand der Standorte barocker Opernhäuser als natürliches Experiment zeigen Falck et al. (2011) einen positiven kausalen Effekt zwischen dem regionalen Angebot an Kulturgütern und der Verteilung talentierter Personen. Dieses Papier wirft allerdings Schwächen in der angewandten Identifikationsstrategie auf. Während die Originalergebnisse replizieren werden können, zeigen wir, dass diese Identifikationsstrategie ebenso positive Effekte für die Standorte von Bordellen und Brauereien der Barockzeit liefert, die in Größe und Signifikanz denen der Opern sehr ähneln. Mit der Einbeziehung von Verwaltungssitzen und Großstädten der Barockzeit zeigen wir, dass die Ergebnisse die Wichtigkeit der Institutionen widerspiegeln. Die Effekt der anderen historischen Gegebenheiten verschwinden, wenn für die institutionelle Wichtigkeit kontrolliert wird.
    Keywords: human capital,historical amenities,regional competiveness
    JEL: R11 H42 J24
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Donato Iacobucci (Università Politecnica delle Marche); Enrico Guzzini (Università degli Studi eCampus)
    Abstract: Nell'ambito della programmazione 2014-2020 la UE ha imposto alle regioni di dotarsi di piani per la ricerca e l'innovazione (Smart Specialization Strategy: S3) come elemento di condizionalità ex-ante per attingere ai fondi strutturali. Per le regioni si è trattato di un'importante occasione di riflessione sulle strategie di sviluppo a medio e lungo termine e di ridisegno delle politiche per la ricerca e l'innovazione. Scopo del presente lavoro è quello di fornire un primo quadro degli ambiti di specializzazione individuati dalle regioni italiane. Esso, inoltre, intende verificare la coerenza delle scelte di specializzazione con altre politiche nazionali per la ricerca e l'innovazione; in particolare i cluster tecnologici nazionali definiti nel 2012 dal MIUR. Il lavoro è basato sull'analisi dei piani dell'innovazione (S3) fin qui disponibili per le regioni italiane a fine 2014. In alcuni casi si tratta di documenti provvisori, ancora in attesa di ratifica formale da parte dei governi regionali.
    Keywords: Smart specialization strategy; regioni italiane; cluster tecnologici
    JEL: L5 O3 R1 R5
    Date: 2015–03

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